EXCELLENCE IN LEARNING AWARDS 2024

 

LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT

EXCELLENCE & INNOVATION

SHOWCASE & HIGHLIGHT

 

SPONSORED BY

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Excellence in Learning Awards

 

 

As we celebrate 26 years of Learning & Development success, the rebranded Excellence in Learning Awards are recognised as the premier Learning & Development event for our industry.

 

 

The purpose of the Excellence in Learning Awards is to promote excellence, best practice and innovation in Learning & Development, and Training, and to highlight the importance of this area in today’s business climate.

 

 

This demanding area of business is arguably the critical success factor for future growth and competitiveness for many organisations.  Therefore, the role of those responsible for delivery and management of learning is vital. For this reason it is absolutely right for the Learning & Development profession to have a cross industry national event to recognise, promote and honour excellence, professionalism and outstanding achievement.

 

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Awards night-2

Your Submission

 

 

How to Apply

 

 

Awards are open to all companies operating in Ireland regardless of size, nationality, turnover or nature of business. Organisations may make submissions in the ‘Best Learning & Development’ Organisation category and/or in one of a number of specific themed categories focusing on a range of initiatives.

 

Making an application to the L&DI Excellence Awards is a two-stage process and submissions are completed online.

 

The first stage is a 2,300 word written submission which should address the criteria of the category you are entering. Following an assessment of all submissions, finalists will be announced.

 

Finalists will be invited to progress to stage two of the process.  Finalists in the 'Best L&D Initiatives' Categories, will make a presentation to the Judging Panel to discuss their submission in greater detail.  This will take place, at the Killashee House Hotel.

 

Finalists in the 'Best Learning & Development Organisation' will host a site visit where there will be an opportunity to share further information.

 

This is an opportunity for you to build on the initial submission and deepen the judges understanding of your activity.  At the presentation to the judging panel, you will be invited to attend with a maximum of three representatives and will have 10 minutes to present followed by 15 minutes discussion. You may bring any supporting documentation you wish to this meeting.

 

The Excellence in Learning Awards 2024 will be judged by a panel of judges made up of some of Ireland top L&D Professionals working in leading organisations. A full list of our judging panel will be announced shortly.

 

There is no cost involved in making a submission.

Making an Application

Awards are open to all companies operating in Ireland regardless of size, nationality, turnover or nature of business. Organisations may make submissions in the ‘Best Learning & Development’ Organisation category and/or in one of a number of specific themed categories.

 

Making an application to the Excellence in Learning Awards is a two-stage process and now online. The first stage is a 2,300 word written submission which should respond to the criteria of the category you are entering.

 

Please See the Scoring Scheme for Best L&D Organisation and Best L&D Initiatives

 

Scoring Scheme Best L&D Organisation

Scoring Scheme Best L&D Initiatives

 

 

Following an assessment of all submissions, a shortlist will be announced.

 

Finalist will be invited to progress to stage two of the process where they will make a presentation to the Judging Panel to discuss their submission in greater detail.  This will take place at the Killashee Hotel.

 

This is an opportunity for you to build on the initial submission and deepen the judges understanding of your activity. You will be invited to attend with a maximum of three representatives and will have 10 minutes to present followed by 15 minutes discussion. You may bring any supporting documentation you wish to this meeting.

 

The Excellence in Learning Awards 2024 will be judged by a panel of judges made up of some of Ireland top L&D Professionals working in leading organisations. A full list of our judging panel will be announced shortly.

 

There is no cost involved in making a submission.

 

Please ensure to submit your completed 2,300 word submission, to be received no later than 11.59pm on March 28th, 2024.

 

Key Dates:

 

Closing date for Applications, deadline extended to: March 28th, 2024.

 

Finalists Announced: May 1st, 2024.

 

Judging Panel: May 29th, 2024.

 

Site Visits for Best L&D Organisation week commencing June 4th & 10th June.

 

Awards Ceremony: September 20th, 2024.

Tips & Guidelines

  • Don’t be afraid to sell yourself. The judges are looking for clear examples of how you meet the eligibility criteria - don’t make it hard for them!
  • Don’t assume those judging nominations know anything about working in your industry so help them out by making this clear.
  • Ensure your nomination is as well written as possible. While nominations won’t be marked down for writing style, a clear, well-expressed nomination form is much easier to read and judge.
  • Keep to the word count - anything over may be ignored!
  • Triple check you are nominating for the right category. Read the specific criteria carefully, and make sure you can prove that the project meets each of them.
  • Demonstrate how your achievements are transferable to other programmes, teams and organisations. Judges like to see the potential for the project to be rolled out across other environments.
  • Support your achievements with evidence of impact such as data, statistics or feedback. 
  • Highlight what you have done differently. The judges are excited to hear about innovative projects and new approaches, so don’t be afraid to emphasise that you’ve challenged the status quo!
  • Ask a colleague to proof-read your nomination form. You will have undoubtedly looked at it over and over again so it may take a fresh pair of eyes to spot any small mistakes or opportunities for enhancements!

If you are shortlisted, you will have an opportunity to meet the judges for 30 mins or to host a site visit to discuss your work further.

 

So start planning for this stage straight away!

TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • The Excellence in Learning Awards are open to all companies operating in Ireland regardless of size, nationality, turnover or nature of business.

  • Entries may be submitted based on activity undertaken within the past two years.

  • All entries must be submitted using the correct category application form. (see Categories for more details)
  • Entries will only be accepted through the online submission form up to midnight on Thursday, March 28th, 2024. Entries will be not be considered after this date.
  • The contents of the entry will be used for judging purposes only.
  • There is no limit on the number of entries you may submit.  However, you must avoid duplicating a specific initiative across multiple categories, and you may only make one (1) submission in each category..
  • Consultants entering on behalf of a client organisation must gain the organisation’s written consent on the category application form. Consultants are advised to clarify the position with respect to intellectual property with their clients in advance of entering the award.
  • The name of the entering organisation will always be used as the name referred to in the entry form. Unless a nominated organisation has been stated, in which case the nominated organisation will be the name referred to. This will also apply to Award trophies and certificates, should these be relevant.
  • Entrants agree to co-operate fully with the judges and their representatives. As part of the judging process, shortlisted applicants will be required to meet with the judges to discuss their submission on May 29th in Killashee Hotel. Shortlisted organisations in the Best Learning & Development Organisation Category will be requested to host a site visit from the judges on weeks commencing 4th & 10th June.
  • Finalists agree to co-operate with the L&DI and our media partner, who may wish to publicise entries and may use footage (photos and video clips) of the Awards ceremony as  appropriate. This will only be done in co-operation with applicants and commercial sensitivity will be respected.
  • The L&DI takes no responsibility for incidental costs incurred by entrants.
  • The decision of the judges is final and no further correspondence will be considered. The judges may or may not elect to present an award in each category. The number of awards presented will be at the discretion of the judges.
  • The prize is non-transferable, non-negotiable and no cash alternative will be offered.
  • Depending on the volume of entries we may not provide individual feedback.
  • Entry submissions will not be returned to participating companies and will be destroyed following the completion of the process.

The Judging Panel

 

Angela O’Donovan, Manager HR Strategy & OD / Programme Director

 

Aoife Cuffe, Professional Career and Wellbeing Coach

 

Aoife O'Sullivan, Head of Network Development and Innovation, Skillnet Ireland

 

Carl Blake, Regional Skills Co-ordinator, Technological University of the Shannon

 

Eve Bulman Murphy, Senior Director, Centralised Enablement & Talent Development, Poppulo

 

Georgina Corscadden, CEO, Peak Connexxion Group

 

Jenny Hayes, Head of Ibec Academy

 

Judy Murphy, Master Coach, Coach Supervisor & OD Consultant

 

Kevin Hannigan, Client Director, Hpc

 

Laurie Knell, Director, Strategic Innovation Partners

 

Marian Crowley Henry, Director of Research & Associate Professor, Maynooth University

 

Mark Latuske, Director of Employee Experience, Ulster University

 

Neha Baj, Learning and Development Consultant

 

Peter FitzPatrick, Head of Human Resources, NSAI

 

Raquel Hanley, Head of Learning & People Development, Clifford Learning & Business Consulting

 

Sacha Dekker, Award winning Learning and Talent Development Leader

 

TJ Byrne, Chief Operating Officer, Healthy Place to Work International Ltd

Information & Application

Finalists

20FIFTY Partners and The Lean & Green Skillnet and Uisce Eireann

 

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth & IPA

 

Greenville Procurement Partners & LASNTG/Local Authorities

 

Depaul & Enovation

 

National College of Ireland & Department of Social Protection

 

Prism Leadership & Change Consulting Ltd & The Wheel

 

Irish Wheelchair Association & Catalyst Consulting

 

Irish League of Credit Unions

 

Center Parcs

 

Chadwicks Group

 

Dell Technologies

 

Grant Thornton Ireland

 

HPRA

 

Musgrave

 

PPD Development Ireland

 

SHS Group

 

 

Diligent Corporation Ireland

 

EY

 

IASIO, The Irish Prison Service, MTU and The Cork ETB

 

Mersus Technologies

 

NCBI

 

The Menopause Hub

 

Women for Election

EY

 

Lidl

 

UL Student Life

 

Sky Ireland

 

Tata Consultancy Services

 

UCD Innovation Academy

 

Version 1

 

 

Aviva

 

Davy

 

Portwest

 

PTC Therapeutics

 

Quest

 

University College Cork and Taste 4 Success

Skillnet

BioPharmaChem Skillnet

 

Cartrawler

 

Citco

 

CPA Ireland Skillnet

 

Depaul

 

Mersus Technologies

Dell Technologies

 

Department of Social Protection

 

Kerry

 

Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

 

 

Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications

 

Grant Thornton, Ireland

 

Innopharma Education

 

PM Group

 

Version 1

 

William Fry

AIB

 

Dawn Meats

 

EY

 

Grant Thornton, Ireland

 

Irish Distillers

 

IRLCA Limited

 

Learning Waves

 

RTÉ

 

 

Musgrave

 

PTC Therapeutics

 

Sky Ireland

 

William Fry

Award Category Information

Best Learning & Development Organisation

This award will be made to an organisation from all sectors (including for profit and not for profit) which has excelled across a range of aspects of the function and achieved quantifiable results which have added value in an innovative way.


Should you need/wish to include any images to the submission please upload them below, and clearly mark them with a reference within the text area - i.e. Figure 1.

 

Introduction

Please introduce your organisation in no more than 150 words (There are no marks awarded for this section. For information purposes only)

 

Evidence that the learning function has an enterprise-wide role: involves executive teams, creating solutions to business issues, and setting organisational strategy (20 Marks)

 

Evidence that learning has value in the organisation's culture: learning opportunities, senior management support, learning for growth, and innovation. (40 Marks)

 

Evidence of enterprise-wide success of achievement as a result of employee learning (40 Marks)

Best Coaching or Mentoring Initiative

This award will recognise an organisation which is aiming to create a coaching culture or mentoring initiative to improve leadership, performance, engagement or any other strategic or developmental objective.

 

Entries that are successful in this category will typically demonstrate:

  • Initiatives which are adopted at each level in a division or organisation, is inclusive, and embraces diversity.

  • Evidence of executive commitment to a coaching/mentoring culture throughout the organisation/division.
  •  
  • An ongoing, consistent experience and demonstrable benefits for all individuals. 
  • Evidence of measurable impact on organisational outcomes as demonstrated by relevant and appropriate metrics, including ROI, enhanced stakeholder value, engagement etc.

Best Digital Learning Initiative

This award will recognise an outstanding and innovative initiative which includes any type of learning intervention or L&D strategic impact that is facilitated by the effective use of technology.

 

Entries that are successful in this category will typically demonstrate:

  • The impact of technological innovation to enable learning or learning transfer, and how this was measured.

  • How the technological innovation affected the wider organisation, including impact measurement and the integration of technology into organisational development plans.

  • How this technological initiative supports a diverse range of learners and how they involved learners to ensure the final product was fit for purpose.

Evidence of how you will ensure the innovation will remain sustainable.

Best Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Initiative

This award will recognise an outstanding and innovative development initiative which is focused on developing a culture of inclusion and ensuring full access to and positive participation in the workplace for all.

 

Entries that are successful in this category will typically demonstrate:

  • A structured and coherent approach to DE&I training which aims to provide concrete ways for employees to engage in respectful and positive interactions in the workplace while reducing discrimination, prejudice and bias.

  • Clear and direct links to organisational strategy, ongoing and retention objectives, and contextual requirements.

  • Evidence of qualitative, meaningful and sustainable employment or development opportunities for individuals who are at risk of exclusion from the workplace.

  • Measurable impact on organisational outcomes as demonstrated by relevant and appropriate metrics, including ROI, enhanced stakeholder value, engagement, recruitment and retention, etc.

  • Clear evidence of sustainability, with a detailed outline of steps to embed new practices as evidenced by behavioural, cultural and other relevant changes and accompanying longer-term objectives.

Best Graduate Development Initiative

This award will recognise an outstanding and innovative Graduate Development Initiative designed to nurture talent in an innovative and effective way.

 

This may relate to a Graduate Development Initiative or Internship at any level within an organisation and at any career stage.

 

Entries that are successful in this category will typically demonstrate:

  • Overall organisation buy-in from senior management and all departments, if appropriate.

  • The programme is part of the company’s long-term talent management strategy.

  • Evidence of a robust learning and development plan including challenging assignments, structured rotations providing exposure to different aspects of the business.

  • Evidence of a dedicated coaching or mentoring intervention to support the graduate’s career journey and the development of a professional network within the business.

  • Evidence of measurable impact on organisational outcomes as demonstrated by relevant and appropriate metrics, including ROI, enhanced stakeholder value, engagement etc.

  • Evidence of sustainability, with a detailed outline of a strategy to continuously evolve the programme to respond to the changing needs of the business.

Best L&D Collaboration

This award will be made to a consultancy, agency, or in-company collaboration that has successfully delivered qualitative solutions to a target audience. The submission should clearly demonstrate evidence of good collaboration, understanding and co-operation to achieve a particular goal or business outcome. It should be outputs-based and focus on the innovative solutions and quantifiable results achieved.

 

While the submission should be collaborative and well-balanced, one member of the partnership should submit the application and all queries and communications will be directed to them in the first instance. Should the application be shortlisted, any stakeholder representatives may attend the presentation to the judges, within the parameters set out in the judging process.

 

Entries that are successful in this category will typically demonstrate:

  • A clear driver for the initiative that is aligned to the organisation’s strategic objectives.

  • How the strengths of the collaboration combined to positively impact the organisation and its people. This may include financial metrics (revenue, profits, ROI, productivity), customer engagement/satisfaction levels, people-related indicators (eg, absence levels, staff turnover, engagement).
     
    • How staff were properly informed and consulted by the provider, and their interests were taken on board in both delivery and design.

  • The external perspective brought by any of the partners which shed new light on the situation or business problem, which may not have previously been seen or appreciated from within.

  • A clear communication strategy between both parties.

  • How the target audience was supported through the processes to ensure the sustainability of the initiative from within.

Best Leadership Development Initiative

This award will recognise an outstanding and innovative Leadership or Management Development Initiative at any level within an organisation, from entry level supervisor through to C-suite/executive level, or may relate to an initiative spanning multiple organisational levels.

 

Note: Graduate development programmes are specifically excluded from this category and award applications for graduate programmes should be made to the relevant category.

 

Entries that are successful in this category will typically demonstrate:

  • A structured and coherent approach to problem diagnosis utilising novel and innovative techniques and strategies.
  • A demonstrated ability to integrate evidence-based practices with emerging approaches to address clearly specified and understood organisational challenges.
  • Clear and direct links to organisational strategy and contextual requirements.
  • Tangible impact on organisational practices as evidenced by behavioural, cultural and other relevant changes.
  • Measurable impact on organisational outcomes as demonstrated by relevant and appropriate metrics, including ROI, enhanced stakeholder value, engagement etc.
  • Clear evidence of sustainability, with a detailed outline of steps to embed new practices and accompanying longer-term measures.

Best Organisational Development & Transformation Initiative

This award will recognise an outstanding and innovative Organisation Development Initiative focused on enhancing the strategy, people, organisation and/or culture agenda, presenting outcomes that demonstrate a relevant and impactful transformation.

 

Entries that are successful in this category will typically demonstrate:

 

  • Exemplar initiatives that are strategically planned and bring about systemic changes in organisations.

  • How the initiative delivers on the specific problem identified but also acknowledges how the initiative supported the wider organisational aims.

  • How your approach to change and transformation was rooted in clear evidence based research including appropriate and relevant management and leadership, business models, processes, structures, and systems.

  • How you ensured that the new systems/processes/behaviours and attitudes were absorbed and accepted across the organisation including evidence of robust staff consultation and a clear communication strategy, and changes in processes and systems supported by training as necessary.

  • Measurable impact on the organisation and its people as demonstrated by relevant and appropriate metrics, including ROI, enhanced stakeholder value, engagement etc.

Best Talent Strategy & Development Initiative

This award will recognise an outstanding and innovative approach to talent strategy and talent development, contributing to:

  • The achievement of the organisation’s strategy
  • Enhancement of the employee experience and life cycle

 

Entries that are successful in this category will typically demonstrate:

  • A clear understanding of the organisation’s view on ‘Talent’.

  • Why the group of roles or individuals for whom the initiative focuses on are considered to be critical to the organisation.

  • How the initiative has impacted the organisation’s performance in a tangible way and therefore justified the effort and resource dedicated to the initiative.

The Pearse Walsh Award - Best Learning & Development Team

This award will recognise an outstanding Learning & Development team that brings a high level of value to the organisation's learning culture and activities. This can be demonstrated through their innovation, alignment, teamwork, and engagement with the organisation.

 

The award covers:

  • The implementation of the L&D strategy over a period of time
  • Or specific learning and development initiatives.

Entries that are successful in this category will typically demonstrate:

 A sound and impactful approach for engaging with the organisation’s stakeholders to fulfil the delivery of real strategic needs.

An innovative and unique approach to the development of learning initiatives.


A high level of alignment, teamwork and fun within their work and their roles.


A passion for continuous learning and development of their own knowledge, skills, and mindsets.

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